A Mexican Consulate in Oklahoma City will help more than 100,000 Oklahomans

For years, Oklahomans have had to travel hundreds of miles to reach the nearest Mexican consulate for handling diplomatic transactions such as renewing passports, getting an identification card, or other routine services for Mexican and U.S. nationals. Commuting to the consulates specifically designated for Oklahoma residents — Little Rock, Arkansas, or Kansas City, Missouri — is a demanding process that often requires workers to take an entire day off of work just to make the long drive there and back. However, Mexico recently announced that it will open a Mexican Consulate in Oklahoma City in May 2023, making it significantly easier for over 100,000 Mexicans in Oklahoma to access the services they need without sacrificing a day’s worth of wages or more to travel out of state.

Traveling out of state for consular services is a burden for families

Currently, the almost 10-hour round trip from Oklahoma City to Little Rock can cost Oklahoma families up to $500 in fuel, food, renewal fees, and missed work. An individual may need to go to a consulate for a variety of reasons; but what should just be routine paperwork has for years been a long and arduous process for thousands of Mexican Oklahomans. Making the out-of-state trip is a barrier to many families, and scheduling an appointment can be difficult or not available for months in advance. Both the Kansas City and Little Rock consulates serve people from a multi-state region and can have somewhere between 500 to 700 appointments a week. Even mobile consulates, which travel to different cities for two days, quickly run out of appointments, have long waiting times, and don’t visit cities on a regular schedule.

For these reasons, the state’s Hispanic community has advocated for a local consulate for more than a decade, which makes the arrival of a Mexican Consulate in Oklahoma City all the more significant. For the first time, Mexicans in Oklahoma — the majority of whom live in Oklahoma City — will have access to a permanent consular location in the state. This will lessen the financial burden on families, increase accessibility to important services, and ensure that Oklahoma dollars are spent in the state and not elsewhere. 

An in-state consulate directly benefits all Oklahomans

Consulates provide a variety of services to thousands of people, whether Mexican or U.S. nationals. For instance, Mexican nationals can go to a consulate to get identification documents:  in 2022, the Mexican Consulate in Little Rock processed thousands of documents, including 20,700 passports and 3,600 birth certificates, for a total of nearly 50,000 documents. With a consulate in Oklahoma, families won’t have to worry about missing an entire day of work or finding child care just to make it to a single out-of-state appointment. They also won’t have to worry about their identifications expiring before they are able to book an appointment. This is especially important for many Oklahomans because these identification forms from the Mexican Consulate are the only way they can get a state-accepted form of identification needed for everyday necessities, like opening a bank account or getting non-emergency care at a hospital. 

U.S. citizens also need to visit the consulate when applying for a visa. For instance, while Americans can go to Mexico on a visitor permit, which lasts no longer than 180 days, longer visits or trips with specific reasons require visas. Whether it is a college student looking to study abroad, an entrepreneur trying to expand a business, or parents looking to adopt a child, these sorts of visits to Mexico require a visa. Having an Oklahoma City consulate will make it easier for U.S. citizens to apply for these documents without the hassle of having to travel out of state. 

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt and Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt have advocated for a Mexican Consulate in Oklahoma City because it will promote economic, commercial, educational, cultural, tourism, and community affairs relations between Mexico and Oklahoma. Additionally, the Greater Oklahoma Chamber of Commerce has said the Mexican Consulate is important for the state’s business community because of Mexico’s status as an important trade partner, and the new office would support continued growth.

A Mexican consulate in Oklahoma is proof of our growth and progress

When the Mexican consulate opens in May, it will join the Guatemalan Consulate, which opened in 2017, as the second foreign consulate to have a presence in the state. This expansion of Oklahoma’s activities in international relations points to the state’s growth, and it is also indicative of the importance of the Mexican community to our state. The opening of the Mexican consulate in Oklahoma City will be a true “win-win” situation that benefits all Oklahomans, and it represents a significant step forward for our state on the international stage.


Gabriela joined OK Policy as an Immigration Policy Analyst in August 2021. Raised in Oklahoma City, she graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies with minors in German, Arabic, and International Security Studies. During college Gabriela had internships at the Council on American-Islamic Relations Oklahoma, the Office of former Congresswoman Kendra Horn, and she took part in events to help educate first-generation Latinx students on how to attend college. Gabriela looks forward to using her skills at OK Policy to work towards a more equitable future for all Oklahomans.

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